Sag Harbor’s Billy Joel is in Washington, D.C., today as he receives Kennedy Center Honors for his influence on arts and culture in America.
Joel is the third best-selling solo artist of all time, having moved more than 150 million records worldwide.
“Billy Joel’s melodies have provided the soundtrack of our lives for over four decades making him one pop music’s most prolific and memorable singers and songwriters,” Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said in September when the 2013 honorees were announced. The other honorees are Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock, Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Santana.
The honorees sat with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for performances and tributes by their peers.
Joel’s daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, shared a behind-the-scenes photo from the Kennedy Center on her Instagram.
Earlier this month, Joel announced that he will play monthly concerts at Madison Square Garden for as long as there is demand. Also demonstrating Joel’s influence and the enduring popularity of his music, the musical television series Glee dedicated a whole episode to Joel’s music last month.
Joel recently put his estate in Sagaponack back on the market.